Located on the border with Germany in the famous “Little Switzerland” region, Echternach is the oldest town in Luxembourg. The medieval town is home to a Roman villa originating from the 1st century, the ancient Peter and Paul parish church built on a Roman castellum, a Roman Basilica from the 11th century, ancient town walls and patrician houses on the market square dating from the 18th century.
The Echternach hopping procession
However, the town’s main claim to fame is the hopping procession that takes place every year on Whit Tuesday. Thousands of pilgrims and spectators gather to participate in this old tradition to honour St. Willibrord who founded Echternach’s Benedictine abbey in the year 698. According to Visit Luxembourg, “the purpose of the procession can be seen as an expression of joy or a prayer: a form of communication between man and God which involves body and spirit. It may also be seen as a sign of human joy, inspired by the love of God.”
Did you miss the 2023 edition of the hopping procession? Put it in your calendar for 21 May 2024 or visit the information and documentation centre of the hopping procession in the museum of Echternach’s baroque abbey where you can find out more about this unique tradition all year round.
Photos: © Pancake! Photographie/LFT